Flixtrain, Trainline, T&E call for reduced rail tolls to help make train travel more accessible

March 28, 2024

T&E and a coalition of rail operators and ticket vendors call upon EU Member States to reduce rail tolls on night trains, cross-border trains and some passenger trains

Travelling by rail instead of flying can decrease emissions by up to -97% on specific routes. Reducing flying and car use is urgent to mitigate climate change and respect the Paris Agreement to limit the increase of temperature to well below 2 degrees celsius. One of the solutions is to shift to rail. The European Commission has said it wants high-speed rail traffic to double by 2030 and triple by 2050, so now, we must ‘walk the talk’.

The train ticket price for consumers is one important decision factor and it is by large parts constituted by the rail tolls. Therefore, an alliance of rail operators, ticket vendors and civil society, committed to make rail more affordable, calls upon the the Member States to:
– Reduce rail tolls for trains with high capacity. Passenger trains should aim at offering as many seats as possible per train to incentivise a high load factor;
– Reduce rail tolls for night trains and cross-border trains;

The alliance also calls upon the European Commission to:
– Revise the Single European Railway Area Directive (2012/34/EU) to set incentives for lower rail tolls for the segments mentioned above. The upcoming guidelines will not be sufficient to achieve change. Legislative action is needed to stop excessive tolls.

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